December 30, KATHMANDU : Sugarcane farmers from Sarlahi have organized a protest demonstration in Kathmandu citing the sugar mills have not yet paid them the money for the sugarcane they sold to the mills. The farmers said that Annapurna Sugar Mill Dhanakaul and Mahalaxmi Sugar Pvt Ltd of Sarlahi have not paid them since the last 10 years.
They had formed the Sugarcane Farmers Struggle Committee and had been organizing protest movement at local level for three years. But this time they were compelled to come to the capital to voice their problem after their voices through the protest movement at local level went unheeded.
Maya Shankar Yadav, a farmer from Ramnagar rural municipality, said that they had to come out and launch the movement after the sugar mills failed to pay the dues they owed them for so many years. According to him, the sugar mills owe dues of approximately Rs 810 million to around 5,000 farmers.
It is said the Annapurna Sugar Mill is yet to pay Rs 600 million to farmers while Mahalaxmi Mill owes dues of Rs 210 million.
“We are facing livelihood problems as we have not got the amount from the sugar mills. The sugar mills owe me Rs 2.5 million,” Yadav said.
Farmers have padlocked the mills after they failed to pay the farmers. Another sugarcane farmer, Sukhalal Sahani, said they had to come to Kathmandu to wage a movement as they did not get money the mills owed them.
According to him, the mills failed to pay them despite signing agreements at local level at different times. “We have come out in protest movement to draw the attention of the central government towards the problem of the sugarcane farmers,” he declared.
He demanded that the sugar mills should implement the Rs 536 per quintal floor price of sugarcane fixed by the government and also pay the farmers the 20 percent of the amount per quintal deducted by the mills in the name of ‘valueless’ sugarcane while purchasing the same. Lawmakers call for action against defaulting sugar mills.
Meanwhile, parliamentarians speaking in the ‘special hour’ in the meeting of the National Assembly today drew the attention of the government towards addressing the protesting sugarcane farmers’ demands pronto. They also demanded stern action against the sugar mills not paying the farmers. (RSS)